The death of Xabier Lopez Peña again puts in evidence the fatal consequences of a penitentiary policy that violates elemental rights and that introduces 600 Basque political prisoners into a terrible and constant Russian roulette. The penitentiary policy generates immense suffering and pain in thousands of people. And it is precisely when Basque society wishes to leave behind violations of rights and that no other death again occurs as a consequence of a conflict that has gone on for too long, the penitentiary policy continues to kill.

A sad reality cemented in policies and measures of exception which violate rights and exhausts the lives of the prisoners. Dispersion, isolation, deplorable living conditions, lengthening of sentences, aggressions, mistreatment, deficient health assistance, maintaining seriously ill inmates in prison… Some macabre ingredients that unfortunately make up a mortal cocktail.

March of 2013 has shown with all its crudeness the irreversible consequences of the penitentiary policy. The deaths of Xabier Lopez Peña and Angel Figueroa as a consequence of serious health problems, the accident suffered by two friends of the prisoner Jabi Martinez Izagirre when they returned from a visit to Jaen or the aggressions suffered by Xabier Aranburu, Oskar Barreras and Arkaitz Bellon are a brutal proof of that.

Currently there are 15 Basque political prisoners who suffer serious illnesses. We are speaking of diagnoses of cancer, multiple sclerosis or schizophrenia. Things as they are, the release of these people means the only guarantee that adequate health treatment can occur and cases such as that of Lopez Peña and Figueroa don’t repeat themselves.

Basque society demands solutions, the respect for all human rights, the change of the penitentiary policy and together building a solution and peace. On this path, maintaining this penitentiary policy signifies an immense obstacle of tragic consequences. For that, just as has happened in the impressive mobilizations of Bayonne and Bilbao, we consider it indispensable to continue activating commitments and offering a wide social response to the violations of rights that strike at the heart of thousands of people and block a resolution. Taking on the mandate of Basque society, we will tirelessly work so that cases such as that of Angel Figueroa and Xabier Lopez Peña are never repeated and that an end is put to this cruel penitentiary policy.